The Falconeer is a slightly different flying game with beautiful views and exciting missions.
Dutch developer Tomas Sala had initially thought that we would be allowed to ride dragons instead of falcons in The Falconeer, but when Game of Thrones already had a lot of dragon rides, he felt he should invent something else.
So the election then landed on a falcon instead. We ride a giant kestrel in an alternate universe. It has been borrowed wildly to create this world: it is everything from Pirates to Lord of the Rings until World War I. We start by going through a tutorial and at the end of it our home country is attacked. It all does not end so happily and now it becomes our task to put things right again.
The Falconeer is a kind of open world game where you can choose whether you want to go on the main missions directly or play side-quests. You also have various bounty hunter missions that you can complete. For the money you earn, you can upgrade your weapons and your falcon. You can also get new falcons during the game and play with different characters, with different game classes.
The graphics are clean and nice and the animation is well done. It is a joy to experience everything from the air on Xbox One X in 4K @ 30fps, where light effects and everything else come into their own. Of course, the game is too Xbox Series X/ S-compatible and gets 4K in 60fps, or 120fps in 1800p.
The frame story is interesting and engaging, cred to the developer who chose good voice actors to carry us through the adventure. Everyone we meet does not have recorded voices, however, and some are then only in text. It feels a little sad sometimes, but I understand why then The Falconeer is made on a smaller budget, with very few helpers as Tomas Sala has done most of it himself.
The music is good and grand, signed by the film and game composer Benedict Nichols and it gives just the right feeling to get into another hot firefight with boats or other armored aircraft. The controls are simple and quick to learn, but I felt I lacked a boost button or at least a fixed travel option. No matter how nice the graphics are, it eventually becomes a little tiring to stare into a bird’s tail for long periods of time, when you, for example, fly home from a mission. Another button I missed was being able to turn quickly. It’s a feature that I can understand is missing on games with airplanes – as it would not be so realistic, to be able to loop anyway – but a bird could easily turn the air more smoothly than an airplane.
In summary, that is The Falconeer a nice and well-made game and despite the small flaws, it is still definitely worth a warm recommendation.